There have recently been critiques of single issue campaigns
circulating within the Animal Advocacy Movement. Single issue campaigns focus
on one particular product or form of animal exploitation, examples include
anti-fur campaigns and advocating against the dog meat trade. Some of these
critiques focus on the racist and/or colonialist overtones of
campaigns demonizing the practices of non-Western countries.
The campaign against the dog meat trade, is an example of a campaign that has
attracted such criticisms. Another critique is that campaigning against one product/form
of exploitation will simply see it
replaced with another, leading to no “net gain” in terms of
reducing animal suffering and/or death. Sometimes such critiques are
accompanied with a call for animal advocates to
promote veganism (encourage members of the public to become
vegan) instead, as this focuses on addressing all animal exploitation in
regards to animals used for food, rather than focusing on certain
This discussion will explore some of these critiques, as
well as proposing some examples of single issue campaigns where one or even
both of the critiques may not apply. Such
campaigns include opposing kangaroo slaughter and duck
shooting in Australia. We will also discuss some limitations of vegan advocacy.
Pendergrast has taught Sociology for many years, lecturing on a wide range of topics, including the social
construction of terrorism. He currently teaches Sociology at the University of Melbourne.
He has a PhD in Sociology and his thesis applied
theories on social movements and organisations to the animal advocacy movement. He has also had many years of
experience as an animal advocate, as well as
being active in other social movements. He co-hosts the social justice podcast Progressive Podcast Australia
Drew has recently submitted her PhD at the University of Canberra (Australia)
in Adult Education. Lara’s other
research and writing interests include radical adult education, anarchism, feminism and the body and anti-capitalist
positions. Lara is a project
director for the Oceania Institute for Critical Animal Studies chapter, on the executive board for the Institute for Critical
Animal Studies, co-runs and co-writes for Veganarchy
and participates in various grassroots campaigns for animal liberation.
Jessica Ison is a queer working class femme and an
anti-capitalist high heel fanatic.
She is the Representative for the Institute for Critical Animal Studies, Oceania
and a PhD Candidate and tutor at La Trobe University on Wurundjeri land. Jess is also a
rescuer for the Coalition Against Duck Shooting, and editor for the journal Writing
from Below. In her spare time she can be found ranting about prison abolition,
queer revolution and fermentation.